Posted Dec 2, 2004 17:17 UTC (Thu) by jabby
In reply to: Colour ls
Parent article: Debian and the hot babe problem
I actually *like* color ls.
I use a white background, so I don't have as much trouble with the dark colors. The bold light blue default for soft links is hard to read, but I usually want to know what it points to if I care about it and in a long listing (-l) the target is shown with its own appropriate (more legible) color assignment.
Color ls is also good for recognizing the *lack* of color. Since the color is based not only on file type (directory, soft link, socket, etc.), but also on permissions (executable) and extension, one can quickly glean information about the types of files in a directory. And if one is expecting a certain type of file to be present, it's absence is immediately noticed. It's especially useful in my src directories. I can immediately see whether a directory has been built or needs to be cleaned, etc.
I've also gone to the (mild) trouble of customizing the color output to highlight our in-house extensions (.980, .909, etc.) and to subtly indicate the difference between .o binaries (light green) and executable binaries (light green & bold!).
I think it's pretty widely accepted that using color (and other visual cues, such as bold or italics) is a great way of organizing and grouping sets of data. The mind instantly recognizes objects of the same color as a "set" of a sort. And if they happen to appear as a block, they *really* jump out at you. The more your brain can process visually, the less brain cycles you need to spend figuring it out by reading the text and processing its meaning.
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